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I have recently moved to new workplace. And it is new job, new team, new management. I always believe the fundamental thing in any business mutual trust. So the first thing I would like to achieve at new workplace is "Gain Trust".

I know gaining trust is continuous process. However I would like to do right things and avoid all potential blunders, mistakes in the process of gaining trust.

My specific question is below
(1) How can I gain trust of my new management and team effectively?
(2) What are the dos and donts related to gaining trust?

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Possible Duplicate: workplace.stackexchange.com/q/12230/437 –  Jim G. Jan 2 at 3:35
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I disagree that this is too broad. While it may not pertain to a specific job or role, it does directly pertain to a specific point in the on-boarding process. I think this is a worthy WP question. Also, I do not believe it is a duplicate as it is asking about an individual only, not a new team as in the question Jim G cited. –  Wesley Long Jan 2 at 17:00
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@CMW - I can see how you'd think that. I don't agree, but it's a subtle difference. My opinion - worth about the combined weight of the electrons used to transmit it. –  Wesley Long Jan 3 at 21:30

4 Answers 4

First, show deference to the "establishment." Show up on time, do your paperwork on time as required, and "play nice" with the site security team, even if they drool on their name badges. This will gain you the short-term trust of management. Bringing on new hires is always a headache for supervisors and managers. The less painful it is to deal with you, the more they will appreciate you. That should get you through the first week.

Second, figure out the "pecking order" in the team. Figure out who the "leader" is (it won't be who you were told) and ask them to give you the 1-2-3 of what's going on. Don't comment on anything you are told. If something is vague, ask for clarification, but do not judge either positively or negatively. Just learn. That will get the team to not see you as a disruptive "threat."

Third, do the tasks you are assigned. Ask for someone else to "look it over" before you do something that will disrupt another in the team for the first few weeks. If you are a software developer - that means have someone look at it before doing a commit on your code. If you're a network admin, have them "look over" your configuration changes before they are deployed. You'll pick up pretty quickly if "your way" fits with "their way." Again, don't judge, and don't try to change them. Learn and comply. Your chance to change things won't come until you build the trust up.

Finally, never, ever take credit for something you didn't do. That will ruin you. Never deny a mistake you made. Everyone expects "the new guy" to have a little trouble getting into the groove. If you do something that gets you publicly credited, publicly thank anyone who helped you, even if it was just borrowing a key to the server room. If your team knows helping you will help them, then your trust will start solidifying.

Of course, this is entirely dependent on what your role and department are. You should be able to glean the gist of this and "transpose" it to whatever your role is.

After that, you have to "read" the group and the individuals on your own. This will only get you going the right direction. After this, you will have to divine your own path.

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"The Passion Test" has some points from Stephen Covey who wrote, "Speed of Trust":

  • The process of building trust begins with yourself, with your own credibility, your own trustworthiness. It's hard to establish trust with others if you can't trust yourself.
  • Modeling trust by example comes first, then building trust in relationships, then teaching trust.
  • Building trust takes place over time, with increasing levels of trusting at each stage in a relationship.
  • It's important to seek to build trust with others. Just don't get ahead of yourself with extending too much trust beyond the other's character and/or competence.
  • Two ways anyone can increase trust in a relationship: create more transparency and take issues head-on.

Keeping agreements is rather important for something else to consider here. "Strengths-based Leadership" also has various tips on building trust, depending on which of Gallup's talent themes someone has.

Lastly, "How To Win Friends and Influence People" has some ideas that may be useful in building relationships:

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

  1. Don't criticize, condemn, or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Six Ways to Make People Like You

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person's interest.
  6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  2. Show respect for the other person's opinions. Never say "You're Wrong."
  3. If you're wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  4. Begin in a friendly way.
  5. Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes.
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
  7. Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers.
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view.
  9. Be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires.
  10. Appeal to the nobler motives.
  11. Dramatize your ideas.
  12. Throw down a challenge.

Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  2. Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly.
  3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  5. Let the other person save face.
  6. Praise every improvement.
  7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  9. Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.
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Trust First - Trust is built over time, but it can be accelerated if you're willing to trust first. Being open and honest along with giving others the benefit of the doubt can go a long way.

All companies are different, so you have to know when people are following strict rules, procedures, etc. and when they're just covering themselves. Why do you have to copy my boss when sending a request?

If you're new and someone asks you to do something and you automatically question their authority and/or their interpretation of your job description, you're not going to gain their trust. Treat them initially as professionals who are trying to do their job to the best of their abilities instead of some slacker looking to dump their work on you and you'll get a lot further. There's plenty of time to catch those who are abusing your generosity and cut them off.

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In my book building the intial trust is a two fold process. First you have to behave professionally as it is defined by your new organization. This means for example:

  • Don't cause unnecessary problems. So be on time, fill in any required paperwork like timesheets without being a pain and forcing your manager to insist. If you don't create extra problems for your new boss, he will be more inclined to like you which is the start of building trust.
  • Don't complain about how they do things. Each company does things differnently and just because it s idifferent doesn't mean it is wrong for that company. You cannot ever effectively drive change until you have built trust. Instead concentrate on learning and if possible try to find out why they do things they way they do. In some industries there are legal and regulatory constraints for intance that make things less than efficient.
  • Concentrate on learning. Take notes. Don't ask the same questions repeatedly.
  • Make sure to give credit where credit is due.

But these things alone are not enough to build trust, they just start you out on building a relationship with your new colleagues. To really build trust you have to become someone they can trust because you are known for your ability to deliver the work.

So towards this end you need to make a concerted effort to meet deadlines with work that is of high quality. You need to make sure you keep communications open and that you keep management informed when there are problems that are causing blockages. When you do a task the first few times, check with someone that you have done it correctly and that there are no steps that you missed. Make sure to follow their systems at first. As you gain trust, you will have more freedom to do things your own way, but when you are new it is critical do follow their current systems.

If you can't meet a deadline because you don't have something you need, you need to communicate that as soon as possible, not after the deadline has passed. Remember, bosses hate bad news but they hate bad news coming from above them more than from below them. So don't be the person who is getting issues escalated because you didn't let people know before it was a big problem.

When you are new, you get some grace because you can't know everything. This wears off very quickly so don't rely on it. The least trustworthy give excuses about how new they are far longer than it is appropriate in my experience. Don't be tempted to follow this path.

When you go to the boss with a problem, also include a suggestion for what needs to be done as much as possible.

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